It is crucial to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet addiction may pose even a higher danger than the virus.

Learn about recovery during the pandemic:

Signs Of Marijuana Use And Abuse: Weed Addiction Symptoms

Important InformationThis information is for educational purposes only. We never invite or suggest the use, production or purchase of any these substances. Addiction Resource and it’s employees, officers, managers, agents, authors, editors, producers, and contributors shall have no direct or indirect liability, obligation, or responsibility to any person or entity for any loss, damage, or adverse consequences alleged to have happened as a consequence of material on this website. See full text of disclaimer.

Signs that a person is abusing marijuana can be difficult to detect at the beginning, but as days go by, physical and behavioral changes start cropping out. How long does weed high last? This differs from one person to another, but it is mainly determined by the quantity of THC present in the consumed cannabis. To know what is marijuana abuse and how to tell someone is affected, read along.

Help Line Woman

Hope Without Commitment

Find the best treatment options.
Call our free and confidential helpline

Most private insurances accepted

Marketing fee may apply

Table of Contents

Physical Signs of Marijuana Use

Sobriety is the norm whether at home or work. Individuals who are high on cannabis can be a risk to those around them and, therefore, it is important to identify them so that they can get help positively. The following are some of the physical marijuana symptoms abusers display.

  • Red Eyes – Bloodshot marijuana eyes are a tell-tale giveaway that someone has taken weed. Many people have questioned why does marijuana make the eyes red? Well, pot, slang for weed, can cause blood pressure to come down, consequently dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow, hence the marijuana red eyes.
  • Dilated Pupils – Does marijuana dilate pupils? Studies have shown that regular use of pot causes a condition known as mydriasis. This is the activation of the iris dilator and sphincter muscles. The result is dilated marijuana pupils as the parasympathetic nervous system gets triggered.
  • Fast Heart Rate – According to medical marijuana facts, most pot users experience increased heart rate of with their hearts making extra 20 to 50 beats per minute when compared with those not using weed. This results from the activation of CB1 receptors around the heart muscle. The trigger is autonomic and happens to compensate for the blood pressure reduction caused by pot.
  • Lack of Coordination – The corticostriatal networks are important areas of the brain that connect to motor learning and control. A close examination of the brain of a marijuana user shows differences in this area of the brain. These affect their reaction time, ability to switch from one task to another, and even memory.
  • Sleepy and Lethargicsleepy man with messy hairThis is one of the easy ways to identify signs of marijuana use. The interaction between pot and the dopamine neurotransmitter causes users to be lazy or lethargic. This raises the medical question, is marijuana a drug? In most cases, one will find a clear difference in activeness before and after marijuana intake among abusers. This affects even medicinal marijuana users and hence the need for close monitoring that they do not overdose.
  • Cannabis Odor – Marijuana smells like a skunk, and any person taking it bears the characteristic smell. Even though some use marijuana odor eliminator, they cannot hide this smell forever. Marijuana odor is a strong lead that can help in the positive identification of those abusing pot.

Behavioral Signs of Cannabis Use

Apart from the physical signs above, there are behavioral marijuana signs as well noticeable among users. However, due to the hideous nature of abusers, some of the signs require attentive observation.

  • Increased Food Cravings – Cannabis contains an active ingredient known as tetrahydrocannabinol abbreviated as THC. Several studies have been conducted, and articles written on how long does THC stay in the system. This is the ingredient behind the food cravings, one of the common behavioral symptoms of marijuana.  THC stimulates the area of the brain responsible for mood and revitalizes euphoria. This stimulation influences appetite for food.
  • Confusion – Addicts of marijuana before and after a sense of orderliness changes drastically. Also known as delirium, mental confusion is often accompanied by feelings of grogginess and lack of focus.
  • Unusually Talkative – This could as well be one of the wax weed dabbing signs where excessive weed intake occurs causing cannabis users to become abnormally talkative. In most of the times, they either repeat themselves or talk of nonsensical things. This could be as a result of euphoria.
  • Giggling without a Reason – This is one of the symptoms of marijuana use that is present in several drug addicted individuals. However, when a person notices giggly behaviors accompanied by physical signs such as red marijuana eye and persistent coughs, chances of weed abuse are high.
  • Misjudging Time – Pot use has been found to give the affected a subjective perception of time. This causes them to overestimate the passage of time and, therefore, think of the future as though it is the present. This is associated with the effect of weed on cerebellar blood flow that may require drug dependence treatment to kick it out of the system.

Signs of Weed Abuse

Physical and behavioral signs such as marijuana dilated pupils may be an indication of a higher level of addiction. However, for people who do not occasionally use cannabis, they could be hiding some serious problems related to the drug that requires help. Noticing these signs early could help them from tipping over into total addiction.

  • Pot Dependency – Daily marijuana use increases the risk of cannabis disorders. One of them is the dependency or inability to function without taking the drug. This normally occurs when the endocannabinoid transmitters lose their sensitivity to the weed. The more one takes, the higher the dependency.
  • Neglecting Responsibilities – As one of the signs of marijuana, people who rely on pot tend to exhibit a general lack of responsibility when it comes to raising kids, holding onto jobs and keeping relationships going. A few of them if any are go-getters.
  • Disregard for Personal Hygienewoman disregards for personal hygiene Do marijuana plants smell? Yes, they do. However, terpenes marijuana has aromatic oils that give distinctive smells. Even though some of the abusers know how to get rid of marijuana smell, hiding it completely especially in personal hygiene is difficult. Basic life maintenance issues all of a sudden become a burden. For instance, they will not brush their teeth, comb their hair, and from a close range, one can even smell their marijuana smell.

Why It Is Important to Know the Signs of Cannabis Use and Abuse

Questions like does marijuana smell like skunk? Show that more still needs to be done to educate people on the importance of knowing the physical and behavioral signs of pot use and abuse.
As a parent, guardian, friend, or just an interested party, knowing the signs of cannabis use could save a life. With most people have mastered the art on how to hide marijuana smell, it may take more than a physical trait to tell the existence of an abuse problem.
Neglecting symptoms as simple as a marijuana cough because people don’t understand its linkage to cannabis use is dangerous. The interaction between marijuana and the immune system can be disastrous. It may even cost a loved one’s career, education, family, and ultimately their life. Knowing the signs early can help an individual actively intervene and be of assistance to a needy case by referring them to a free addiction treatment center.

How to Help Marijuana Drug Abusers

Whether the affected is part of family or friends’ network, timely help is crucial. Cases of teens and marijuana abuse have become a concern to all parents and guardians. This calls for active intervention. There are several steps to take to bring the situation under control.

  • Approaching pot users with empathy and show of compassion – When discussing the abuse problem with marijuana users, don’t heap blame on them, rather be specific and ask for permission to pursue treatment.
  • Talk therapy interventions and psychoeducation – This could be in a group or one-on-one sessions. Cannabis users are educated on the effects of cannabis abuse and how to get out of addictions.
  • Support for weed addicts and creating a safe environment for the affected
  • Referral to rehab centers – Here, abusers get professional support and counseling in addition to specialized therapy to enhance their recovery rates.

Is there a relative or friend hooked up on weed? There is help available 24/7 in drug addiction help centers for support in managing the addiction. Get in touch with a knowledgeable representative on 888-459-5511 for more information on rehab centers and treatment. The before and after cannabis treatment experience is worth the sacrifice.

Help Line Woman

Hope Without Commitment

Find the best treatment options.
Call our free and confidential helpline

Most private insurances accepted

Marketing fee may apply

  1. Deborah S Hasin. US Epidemiology of Cannabis Use and Associated Problems. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018 Jan; 43(1): 195–212.
  2. Raminta Daniulaityte, Francois R. Lamy, Monica Barratt, Ramzi W. Nahhas, Silvia S. Martins, Edward W. Boyer, Amit Sheth, Robert G. Carlson. Characterizing marijuana concentrate users: A web-based survey. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017. 399-407.
Medically Reviewed By Michael Espelin APRN

About Author

Peter J. Grinspoon, MD

Dr. Peter Grinspoon is an experienced physician with long-term clinical practice experience. As a former analgesic addict, Dr. Grinspoon knows precisely how important it is to provide patients with effective treatment and support. Medical writing for him is the way to communicate with people and inform them about their health.


Leave a comment